Rearch and Learning Center

About | This Week in the RLC | For Parents | Recent Research | For Researchers | Researcher Spotlight

The Research and Learning Center is a collaboration between
the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History and the Southwest Center for Mind, Brain and Education. 

Our goal is to support the research of local scientists and their students by providing space, publicity, scheduling, and participants in a natural research setting.

How does the research process work? Each study has a different approach, but one recent study can be viewed by clicking on the video below.


Developed with support from the National Living Laboratory, using funding from the National Science Foundation under Award Number 1113648.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Foundation. 

Conduct your research in the RLC!

Now scheduling for Spring and Summer 2017 studies


Research Opportunities

*Saturdays, 10 AM to 4 PM
*Weekdays by request
*Family Nights and Home School Events
Weekday/weeknight opportunities for professors, students, and/or class assignments to do research, intervention, training, or other service in the RLC! 
*RLC Collaborations with the Planetarium
 Digital research; Live or near-live data visualization
Immersive environments (colors, sounds, etc.) can set the mood and change quickly and on cue

Can't make it to the RLC? The RLC staff can facilitate your study. Train our team on your protocol, and we will conduct your study for you.
Let us know your research needs!


  • Access to diverse participant pools
  • Potential to enlist more participants than through traditional recruitment methods
  • No participant compensation expense
  • Opportunities and support in communicating research topics to the public
  • Opportunities to strengthen both presentation and writing skills
  • Access to wide audience for dissemination

The Research and Learning Center, an outreach of the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History,

provides free services to researchers and universities.

For more information, contact Debbie Cockerham at

Recent RLC-Related Publications

Cockerham, D., Chang, Z., Schellen, M., & Lin, L. (2016, July). Cognitive task performance in technology-enhanced learning environments. In Advanced Learning Technologies (ICALT), 2016 IEEE 16th International Conference on Learning (pp. 360-362). IEEE.

Cockerham, D., Chang, Z., Schellen, M., and Lin, L. (Submitted). Background music effect upon language task accuracy.

Cockerham, D., & Malaia, E. (2017). Neuroscience-based approaches to teaching students on the autism spectrum. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 224(4), 290-293.

Lin, L., Cockerham, D., Chang, Z., & Natividad, G., (2015). Task speed and accuracy decrease when multitasking. Technology, Knowledge, and Learning. pp. 307-323. DOI 10.1007/s10758-015-9266-4.

Shim, J., Chung, H., van der Kamp, J., & Kim, J. (Submitted). Directional bias in golf putting. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology.

Spann, C. A. (in preparation). Mindfulness and mind-wandering: The impact of brief interventions on child affect, arousal, and executive functioning.

Spann, C. A., Schaeffer, J. and Siemens, G. (in preparation). Monitoring heart-rate variability, attention and self-control with wearable technology.

Wijayasinghe, I. B., Ranatunga, I., Balakrishnan, N., Bugnariu, N., & Popa, D. O. (2016). Human–Robot Gesture Analysis for Objective Assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. International Journal of Social Robotics, 8(5), 695-707.


Cockerham, D., Gokcidem, E., Jahnke, E., Livingston, T., & Cohen, O. (2016, September). “The Human Element” as Disruptive Innovation: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Museum Roles in Socioemotional Development. In ASTC's 2016 Annual Conference (September 24-27). ASTC.

Cockerham, D., Chang, Z., Lin, L. , & Natividad, G. (2016). Impact of the listening environment upon children’s cognitive skill acquisition. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) conference. Washington, D.C.

Gu, X., Zhang, T., Lin, L., & Cockerham, D. (2017, March). Gender and Race Differences among Children's Anthropometrics and Mental Health. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the SHAPE America in Boston, MA, 2017.

Spann, C. A. (May 2016). Affect, arousal, and attention: The impact of brief mindfulness and mind-wandering interventions with children. 2nd International Conference on Mindfulness. Rome, Italy.

Spann, C. A. (November 2016). Examining Attention and Self-Regulation using Wearable Technology. The First International Conference on Awareness of Learning through Wearable Technologies. Stanford, CA.

Spann, C.A., Schaeffer, J., & Siemens, G. (Accepted for March 2017). Expanding the Scope of Learning Analytics Data: Preliminary Findings on Attention and Self-Regulation using Wearable Technology. The 7th International Conference on Learning Analytics and Knowledge. Vancouver, Canada.

Spann, C. A., Gagne, J. R., Robert, C. (Accepted for April 2017). Changes in Emotion, Arousal, and Self-Regulation after Brief Mindful Breathing, Intentional Mind-Wandering, and Silent Reading. The 2017 Society for Research in Child Development Biennial Meeting. Austin, TX.




Fun Fact
The OMNI Theater sound system and speakers were upgraded in 2008 with a state-of-the-art system that remains unrivaled anywhere in the world!

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